How to pitch your item for sale, Dragon’s Den style

A firm handshake and being able to explain the benefits of the item you’re selling can go a long way to converting a tyre kicker into a buyer "Sure, I'll take it." Dealing with potential buyers or ‘tyre kickers’ can be daunting for both first-time and seasoned sellers. To help all our DoneDealers out there we asked Catherine Moonan, the pitch coach to the people who present their business ideas on Dragons’ Den to give us some of her top tips. Moonan who is Managing Director of Communication Matters and specialises in training and coaching in communication and presentation skills says that people shouldn’t forget the old-fashioned basics in terms of one-to-one communication. The normal process for sellers is to place an ad, receive an enquiry by phone (or email) and to give the enquirer directions to a location to view the item. Pleased to greet you There are three things you need to do upon meeting the person face to face, even before getting into the nitty gritty of buying and selling. Remember the person’s name – it’s basic manners Shake hands when you meet them – a good firm handshake at that! Eye contact is crucial – it’s connected to trustworthiness “The eyes are the windows to the soul,” says Moonan. “I think there’s an element of trust that builds up through eye contact.” If you’re too afraid to make eye contact the other person may assume you are hiding something. It’s also good to build up a rapport with the other person, says Moonan, even by asking if the person had far to come. Features vs benefits Once the pleasantries are dealt with it’s time to convert a viewer into a buyer. At this point, says Moonan, your focus should be on the benefits of the item you’re selling. Features are the details you have described in your ad. She says the features should be left aside – because that’s what attracted them in the first place. “So you’ve come a long way through the ad and the phone call to actually get to [this point] but there’s still that percentage left of the sale.” The potential buyer wants to know ‘What’s in it for me?’ explains Moonan. “You need to convince them what it is they are going to get out of this and how they are going to benefit from having this product.” A person selling a four-door car could bring into conversation how they benefited from it eg it’s great for kids getting in and out. “You’re trying to connect with a person on another level and find a common bond almost.” Head vs heart Moonan reminds us that it’s not logic that generates sales, it’s emotion. You can introduce this by doing the following: Be enthusiastic Use adverbs or adjectives to describe an object Be personal with the other person by using ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘she’ when giving examples of how you’ve used the product in the past and how it has worked for you. Whatever you do, don’t forget Moonan’s last piece of advice: “If we’re not excited or passionate about what we’re selling how can we expect the buyer to be?” #Placinganad